“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
“They have dealt corruptly with Him, they are no longer His children because of their blemish; they are a crooked and twisted generation” (Deut 32:5).
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5).
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6).
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil” (Jeremiah 13:23).
“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil . . .” (Mark 7:21).
“None is righteous, no, not one . . . no one does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).
The doctrine of Total Depravity is one of the clearest in the Bible. It is the clear teaching of God concerning mankind’s helpless, pitiful spiritual condition from cover to cover in the Bible. Being totally depraved does not mean every person is as sinful as he or she could be (that would be hell, indeed). Rather, total depravity simply teaches that we are all born sinners, we have a sin nature bent towards evil and rebellion against God from birth. Once we are old enough to choose between God’s Law and sin (which happens much earlier than most of us like to admit), we all add insult to injury and heap up filth and wickedness before Holy God. Our condition spiritually is so dire that God says we are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). Our depravity necessitates a gracious move of God’s Spirit in our lives, giving us new life (birth) in Christ Jesus in order for us to repent of sin and believe in Jesus and be saved (John 3:1-8; John 6:65; Eph 2:1-10; 2 Tim 2:25; Titus 3:5; 1 John 5:1). We must be born again, “not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13). Oh friends, “salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).
But what does Total Depravity have to do with dating, especially if Johnny is a Christian? Well, glad you asked. Most Christian parents demonstrate by their actions that they really do not grasp the power and presence of indwelling sin, even among the saved (1 John 1:8-10). Many parents assume since their teen is saved, and they have the Holy Spirit indwelling them, that they can just trust little Susie to “do the right thing.” Oh, if it were that easy!
King David lusted after Bathsheba, acted on it, and then enjoyed his sexual sin with her so much he had her husband killed. So, if your teen is stronger in the Lord than David, the “man after God’s own heart,” then by all means continue to let him go into darkened movie theaters with girls, totally unsupervised by yourself or any other adult.
The same Apostle who wrote so much about the regenerating power of God’s Spirit, making us alive in Christ and dead to sin, also wrote this about himself:
I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate . . . For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing . . . wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind [the regenerated will], but with my flesh [indwelling sin] I serve the law of sin (Rom 7).
So, if your teen is walking closer with Christ than the Apostle Paul did, then by all means let that young man and young woman be alone upstairs in the bedroom while you are downstairs in the kitchen. (How many stories do we parents have tucked away in our devilish minds about being alone with the opposite sex in a house that parents were in?)
Friends, have we so quickly forgotten Paul’s admonition to the saved believers at Ephesus? “Give no opportunity to the devil” (4:27). As parents, we are responsible for doing all we can to ensure our children are not purposely in places where Satan can gain an easy foothold into their lives.
“Satan’s foothold” is an apt description for dating in America.
We have not equipped our children well in the doctrine of sanctification, so they do not know how to wage this war against sin and towards the pursuit of holiness (Gal :16-26). They have no idea how to put off the old man and put on Christ (Eph 4; Col 3). That’s not part of our Sunday School curricula.
Almost non-existent is the young man who given an opportunity to be alone with a girl he is so physically attracted to that his reasoning faculties are shut down who will not try to touch somewhere, kiss like he’s a soap star, caress like the girl is all his, and voila – the devil’s foothold becomes a stranglehold!
As for me and my house, we will shun dating the culture’s way. We care not what others think, even those within the church. As a Dad, God clearly expects me to protect my daughter’s purity (Deut 22:13-21). The Lord of hosts did not ask the American culture or church what they thought about this arrangement. By His grace, I intend to fulfill this God-given role well and faithfully.
We’re out of time for now. Stay tuned, much more to come.
Next Post: The Kiss of Death